Your Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for Saturday, April 1st, 2017. No foolin’.
Martin receives big ovation in Montreal return
Russell Martin signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent prior to the 2015 season, and has enjoyed playing for Canada’s only team, as one of the MLB’s top Canadian players. Martin was born in East York, and spent a great deal of his childhood in Montreal, so the final two games of the spring season are an unofficial homecoming for the 4 time All-Star.
The sold-out crowd gave him a standing ovation on Friday night, a gesture that isn’t lost on the 34 year old.
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Stroman continues to dominate
Fresh off his appearance at the World Baseball Classic final, where he took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, Marcus Stroman looked very sharp again on Friday in his final spring training outing. The 25 year old pitched 4 scoreless innings, striking out 3 and looking fully prepared for the regular season to get underway.
Stroman pitched to a 2.35 ERA in the WBC over the course of 15.1 innings in the tournament, and has also looked great in Grapefruit League action.
Kawasaki returns to Japan
Past fan-favourite, Munenori Kawasaki, won’t be playing the majors this season, as he’s headed back to Japan to play baseball in 2017. The beloved middle-infielder signed with Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, the team where he began his professional career.
Kawasaki spent the 2016 season in the Chicago Cubs system, appearing in just 14 games with the big league club.
Osuna throws another scoreless inning, no radar gun again
Roberto Osuna looked good again on Friday night in Montreal, hopefully continuing to instil confidence in his coaching staff and media alike. Once again, there was no radar gun to monitor in the stadium, so his velocity was unknown despite the solid outing.
Final roster decisions coming tomorrow, or Sunday, or who knows
We’re still left waiting on the final roster decisions for the Blue Jays, an announcement that may not come until Sunday. Typically these things are in place by now, but there could be several factors holding up the Blue Jays final decisions.
They are reportedly still in the mix for Angel Pagan, who has yet to make a decision on his 2017 destination, a move that could have a significant trickle down effect on the Blue Jays 25 man roster. At the moment, the final spot appears to be boiling down to either Ryan Goins or Melvin Upton.
In the bullpen, 3 choices remain for 2 spots, with Mike Bolsinger, Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera all awaiting to learn their fates for Opening Day. With Bolsinger and Loup out of options, it appears they both have the leg up on Tepera, at least to open the campaign.